Center for Bioenergy Research and Development (CBERD) – NSF I/UCRC

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CBERD is a multi-university Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Bioenergy Research and Development (CBERD). The center is comprised of four universities, and is focused to make transformative discoveries to enable the lignocellulosic and fats and oil based bio-industries meet the challenges set forth by the US President, federal and state agencies and the American public. Research is highly consistent with federal agency roadmaps.

CBERD photoCurrently there are five research foci in CBERD.  These areas are dynamic in that they change from time to time depending upon the research interests of our supporting industries, the Industrial Advisory Board, CBERD's Strategic Plan and CBERD's Research Roadmap.  Focus areas are:

  1. Feedstock Development - Improve performance of targeted bioenergy systems using the tools of agronomy, plant breeding, and genomics, and conduct assessments of bioenergy systems’ potential through field productivity trials and resource characterization.
  2. Bioprocessing Microbes and Enzymes - Identify and develop effective enzymes, organisms and consortia to process the complex structure and composition of cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and lignin to produce a promising source of catalysts and processing capability for converting biomass into useful and valuable fuels, chemicals, and materials.
  3. Biomass to Bio-products: New Platform Technologies - Investigate existing and novel platform technologies including both single or staged processes, that convert biomass to useful products through biochemical and thermochemical pathways with benign materials, second generation biofuels derived from non-food sources, higher energy efficiencies, and lowered operating temperatures and pressures.
  4. Modeling and Process Lifecycle Analysis - Construct models (mechanistic, empirical, economic, etc.) of bioenergy systems and conduct targeted analyses that will aid design, inform decision making, and identify life cycle impacts.
  5. Biofuels Use and Co-Product Development - Identify and develop commercially viable co-products at any point throughout the entire bioprocess from feedstock pretreatment to core product production for the purpose of improving biorefinery economics, safety, and environmental impact of bioenergy production.